Synergy News & Blog: Guildford Office

Canalside – the regeneration of Sheerwater

Canalside – the regeneration of Sheerwater

Canalside is a major new housing development that will see the regeneration of the Sheerwater area on the outskirts of Woking, Surrey.

The proposal is to regenerate the area into a vibrant, sustainable community situated around a new community hub. This hub creates a new community centre, nursery, health centre and a 4-hectare park.

Working with our client Thameswey Developments Ltd, Synergy were initially appointed to review the previous scheme, which achieved a hybrid planning approval in 2017. The previous scheme was substantially low rise, had a delivery programme in excess of 11 years and was border-line affordable.

After the initial review with Thameswey we were then appointed to seek design and engineering tenders from potential professionals. Three new design teams were assembled to develop the current scheme to increase density, develop a phasing strategy to deliver the scheme with less overall disruption and provide deliverability.


The development includes a new leisure centre with external sports pitches. This is a replacement of the existing recreation ground and will be available to the local schools and community. This aspect has been competitively tendered, and the contract is to be awarded within budget.

The low-rise residential scheme on the site of the former running track and recreation ground has been deferred in the delivery programme to maximise the amount of recreation space available during the medium rise area build.

The medium rise mixed-use element will commence in early 2019.  Within this zone, flats are being built above shops and community buildings provided with discrete off-street parking, thus increasing density without the blight of street parking.

Mark Rolt, Chief Operations Officer at Thameswey explains,

the vision for Canalside is to create a desirable, attractive and highly sustainable place to live and work.  A place that, through high quality design and community facilities, will reduce existing levels of deprivation and where the community can thrive into the future.  The aim is to provide healthier lifestyles and create a lively neighbourhood with a real buzz”.

The challenges faced by Synergy include putting together dedicated design teams and their apportionment across 14 phases of build and 12 phases of demolition. This includes the phasing of the demolition of 572 properties and the construction of 1141 new properties together with substantial new community buildings.

Once the teams were appointed the challenge was to increase the density by 20%, reduce the programme by 50% and prepare reports for the Council to secure funding.  The delivery model has also been changed and designs altered to allow for retention by Thameswey of the properties for 40 years and to serve all community buildings and all commercial units off a centralised energy centre and private wire network.

This 7 year residential project has now started and we are currently out to tender for the first three phases of build, which includes around 364 flats, 20 houses, community facilities, shops and restaurant shells together with the energy centre.  This procurement is being undertaken at the same time as the new hybrid planning application is being considered by the Council.

After being commissioned to provide a Commercial Team to deliver the Electrical Network for the London 2012 Olympics, this is the most prestigious and publicly watched project commissioned to Synergy. The teams are being led by: –

Simon Worthy  – Senior Partner
Paul Grinham  – Project Manager, Partner
Stephen Jopson  – Quantity Surveying, Partner

A big thank you to BDP and Broadway Malyan for giving us permission to reproduce their CAD images.

If you have any queries or questions about the delivery model or scheme, please contact any of the above Partners (

Further details and progress updates will follow.

Posted on 5/10/2018

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *